After another night full of problems for HBO Go customers, HBO will allow Xbox users to view the season four premiere of Game of Thrones starting tomorrow through April 14th. The episode will be made available through Xbox Video, so Xbox One owners won't be left out. (HBO Go hasn't yet been released for Microsoft's latest console.) Cable customers will also be able to watch the kickoff of Game of Thrones' fourth season through their provider's on-demand channel during the promotional period — even if they don't normally subscribe to HBO.
HBO enjoyed a massive audience for last night's premiere; 6.6 million people tuned in, according to early Nielsen estimates. As Variety notes, that's the largest viewership the subscription network has had for a single TV episode since The Sopranos series finale in 2007.
But customers who tried to watch the premiere online via HBO Go complained of a nightmarish experience involving numerous playback errors. Most were unable to watch the show. And the problems felt very familiar for HBO's customers. Just last month, HBO Go was overwhelmed and became largely unusable during the season finale of True Detective. Clearly the company is trying to make amends for the disaster, but the real test will come next Sunday when episode two debuts.